Between the weather and the elections, Chappaquiddick has been a pretty exciting place to live recently. As I write this Wednesday morning, we head into another big storm. Sharlee and Jack Livingston’s anemometer already has recorded winds at fifty miles per hour, higher than during Hurricane Sandy, and they live in a protected location. The wind is northeast, which may be of some benefit as far as erosion at Wasque Point. The two houses threatened by erosion at Wasque continue their attempts to thwart the ocean’s insatiable desire to eat our island. At Wasque Point, the high tech version of erosion control consists of huge earth moving machines helping to fabricate sand logs for a wall at the bottom of the coastal bank. Permission was granted this week for that work to continue. At the breach end of Norton Point, up-ended trees on the beach have been anchored to the bluff by ropes and old electric line from the house well that washed out months ago, no doubt hoping to tame wave action against the low bank that continues to move toward the house.
The island should look more or less like winter after Wednesday’s new storm, as it blows off most of the remaining leaves. When the oak leaves fall, worry about the loss of our oaks may temporarily lessen as the dead-tree look is similar to the winter look. We can put off thinking about the oak gall wasps until spring when the leaves either do or don’t come out on individual oaks.
At my house we haven’t had a frost yet, which is surprising. I recently picked a few green tomatoes from a plant that looks healthier now than it did in August. I saw Debbie Athearn at Morning Glory Farm who said the same was true of some of their heirloom tomatoes. As far as my sweet potato and sunchoke crops go, I’m competing with the rodents to see who can harvest the most.
Slip Away Farm wants to build up their compost pile at the old Marshall Farm across from Brine’s Pond. They are encouraging people to bring compost makings, including grass clippings and leaves. They’ll have a sign on the road and painted blue signs on the property pointing to the location of the heap – no woody brush, please. The farm stand is still open on Saturday mornings from 9 to 11 a.m., but no longer on Wednesdays. They’ve been pleased with the turnout, and Chappaquiddickers have been pleased with the fresh vegetables and congenial meeting spot.
The Farm Institute, where Slip Away has been growing vegetables, continues their Wee Farmers program through Dec. 22 on Saturday mornings from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Wee farmers can pet goats, feed chickens and help harvest fall veggies. This is for ages two to five, accompanied by a parent or caregiver.
We were represented in Boston on Monday and Tuesday at what is advertised as “the ferry event of the year.” Peter, Molly and Erik attended the Ferries 2012 Conference and Expo at the Hyatt Regency Boston, along with the Chappy Ferry book author, Tom Dunlop. Peter was scheduled to be part of an operator roundtable discussion, and he and Tom were slated as the event’s final presenters, speaking on The Chappy Ferry: A Retrospective. Hopefully we’ll hear some of the details when Peter writes the column on the fourth week of the month. Sally stayed home and took care of the grandchildren, chickens and cats. Peter was home in time to batten down for Wednesday’s storm, which shut the ferry down for some period of time.
The Chappy Community Center 2013 photo calendars show off the talents of Chappy photographers and feature the winners of last summer’s photo contest. Order forms are available at the CCC, at the Point or by download from the web site. Calendars can be mailed or picked up over Thanksgiving weekend. The next scheduled CCC potluck is Wednesday, Dec. 5, the ferry captain and crew appreciation evening.
The Chappy open space committee invites everyone to a Thanksgiving Walk on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 10:30 a.m. at Pimpneymouse Farm, rain or shine. The Potters will lead two different walks through the farm their family has tended for over 80 years. A half-hour walk will go through the gardens surrounding the main house, through the former skeet field to Lover’s Lane beside the creek leading to Poucha Pond and back. At the same time, a second walk of approximately an hour and a half will go through woods and fields to the marsh overlooking Poucha Pond. If the water is low enough they will continue out to the salt marsh islands, where the effects of ocean level rise may be seen. Waterproof footwear may be needed for both walks. Cider and cookies will be served at the farmhouse. Parking is available in the hay field on the left as you approach the farm and see the “Whoa” sign. For information, call Joan Adibi at 508-627-4807. We’re back to one-lane driving from the Point to Litchfield again — or else weaving back and forth. The highway department has been on Chappy raising manhole covers in preparation for repaving that stretch of road that’s lumpy from work installing the underground electric cable, which we’ve been grateful for during many storms.